THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 24

legislative outlook

O

ver the last 12 months,
we have seen much
uncertainty within both
the Senate and the House and
their legislative agenda. The
first part of 2017 was marked
with several attempts to
repeal the Affordable Care
Act (ACA). Both the House and
the Senate had undertaken
several attempts to pass different
versions of legislation that would
have repealed and/or replaced
the ACA. Because so much time was
spent on this policy issue, other issues
facing Congress were placed into
a holding pattern.
One such area that has seen a
somewhat diminished legislative role
is comprehensive energy policy. The
Senate passed out of committee several
large energy bills that cover everything
from energy efficiency, liquefied natural
gas (LNG) export as well as multiple
natural resource issues. This legislation is
similar to that which passed the Senate
last Congress with broad bipartisan
support. The House on the other hand
has taken a much slower and surgical
approach to developing energy
legislation. Two pieces of legislation
we have been following are language
modifying the Energy Star Program and
the authorization and reorganization of
the Department of Energy (DOE).
On November 7, 2017 the House's
Subcommittee on Energy held a
hearing to discuss how to reform the
Energy Star Program. APGA submitted
comments that outlined the areas where
we believe the Energy Star Program
could be improved. We highlighted the
following areas:
1. Making the Energy Star program
available to all equipment types
and sizes;
2. Keeping the focus of the program on
energy and not on environmental

policy as there are other more relevant
areas to address environmental policy;
3. Making sure the public and
stakeholders have the ability to
participate in an open and fair process;
4. Expanding the use of primary energy
and including it on the appliance's
label; and,
5. Asking for safeguards to protect the
program from being influenced by
outside ideology (picking winners
and losers).

Because of the
increased focus
on environmental
issues, the current
energy policy
debates have
become another
proxy fight between
how the parties
view environmental
policy and
regulations.

24 THE SOURCE | THE VOICE AND CHOICE OF PUBLIC GAS

As the subcommittee continues
to discuss Energy Star reform,
another area where the
committee is focusing its
attention is on the role and
operations of DOE. When
DOE was first established, the
United States was facing a very
different energy landscape.
Shortages and high prices were
the norm; however, we are now
experiencing a commodity surplus.
Today's energy debates are more
framed by potential environmental
impacts as opposed to economic
limitation. Because of the increased focus
on environmental issues, the current
energy policy debates have become
another proxy fight between how the
parties view environmental policy
and regulations.
One area of public policy that has
seen a lot of discussion is tax reform.
The House began working on tax reform
over the summer, but began ramping up
efforts in earnest in the fall. The House
Ways and Means committee scrapped
their prior tax framework and instead
released a new bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs
Act, in October. This bill contains several
provisions impacting APGA members:
* The bill reinstates the Section 48
tax credit for qualified fuel cells and
combined heat and power systems
(CHP) as well as other energy systems.
This is a 10 percent investment tax
credit (ITC).
* The bill modifies the current
production tax credit for electricity
produced from qualified wind,
closed-and-open-loop biomass,
geothermal energy, solar, small
irrigation power, municipal solid
waste, and qualified hydropower. By
repealing the inflation adjustment
for the production tax credit, the
2.3 cent/kwH credit would in effect
become a roughly 1.5 cent/kwH



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Spring 2018

First Person
APGA Events
Disasters Bring Challenges and Opportunities
Furnace Rule Update
APGA Strategic Planning
Conversation with an APGA member: Tallahassee
NGSA’s Winter Natural Gas Outlook Projects Record Demand, Matched by Robust Storage and Production
Promoting Gas Market Growth
New White Paper Offers Guidance to Natural Gas Utilities on Thriving in a Changing Landscape
Legislative Outlook
Marketing Matters
At Last
Advertiser's Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Intro
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - ebelly1
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - ebelly2
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - cover1
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - cover2
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 3
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 4
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 5
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 6
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 7
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - First Person
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 9
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - APGA Events
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Disasters Bring Challenges and Opportunities
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 12
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Furnace Rule Update
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - APGA Strategic Planning
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 15
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Conversation with an APGA member: Tallahassee
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 17
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - NGSA’s Winter Natural Gas Outlook Projects Record Demand, Matched by Robust Storage and Production
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 19
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Promoting Gas Market Growth
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 21
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - New White Paper Offers Guidance to Natural Gas Utilities on Thriving in a Changing Landscape
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 23
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Legislative Outlook
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 25
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Marketing Matters
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 27
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - 28
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - At Last
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - Advertiser's Index/ Advertiser.com
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - cover3
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - cover4
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - outsert1
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - outsert2
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - outsert3
THE SOURCE - Spring 2018 - outsert4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0218
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0118
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0417
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0317
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0217
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0117
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0315
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0215
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PGAQ/PGAQ0115
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com